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Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862
04-11-2019, 06:56 AM
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Star Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862
by O Edward Cunningham, copyright 2007, 476 pages (396 pages of text)

A pretty thorough account of the Battle of Shiloh. This is one of the early battles of the war that shocked the public due to the high casualty list.
I was looking for a good, comprehensive book on the battle, and this is it.
Almost to thorough, my knowledge of the battle was pretty basic and the amount of info was almost overwhelming, having more information than I wanted.
The account of the battle is well told, the main shortcoming for me was the lists of all the battlefield division officers that were involved in different parts of the battle. This slowed down the narrative of the book.

There are the individual experiences told from letters home, diaries, and regimental histories that add the personal aspect to this history. Some of those were horrifying.
Another detail that struck me were the number of animals killed or injured. It wasn't something I thought much about. While numbers were not mentioned, plenty of examples of this were mentioned.
Well documented with footnotes, bibliography and a good index.

There is an Appendix that list the number of casualties of the battle. One comment was the Confederate casualties were usually under reported up to 15-20%. Reasons given for this were poor record keeping, after many of the battles the Union army controlled the battlefield and in the chaos it was difficult for the Confederate army to know specifically who was killed or wounded or missing (deserted or POW). It was hinted that an effort was made to keep the public casualty figures lower than they really were to keep southern morale from collapsing.
There is an appendix of 22 photos for "A Modern Photographic Tour of Shiloh", and through the book several maps illustrating troop movements during different stages of this battle.

There were two books mentioned in the footnotes, and worthy of their own thread (maybe later), The Civil War Through the Camera by Henry Elson and The Story of Shiloh by Otto Eisenschiml

Overall a good book on the subject if you want a fairy comprehensive account of this important battle.

I was able to find a Very Nice copy for $5

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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